1 December, 2021One worker was killed and five other injured at Marwar cement plant in Nagaur district of Rajasthan, India on 18 November 2021. Another worker was seriously injured in Maratha Cement Works in Maharashtra on 11 November 2021. Both plants are owned by Holcim subsidiary, Ambuja cement.
On 18 November, Amrit Singh, a contract worker employed as rigger in the construction of a waste heat recovery system was working on a temporary platform and fell from height along with a 150 tonne heavy machine. He was killed instantly and five other workers were injured. All the workers are indirect employees.
According to officials of the IndustriALL affiliate, the Indian National Cement Workers’ Federation (INCWF-INTUC), the Mr Singh leaves four dependent family members. His family will get around 1 million INR (US$13,400) in compensation. An undisclosed amount of statutory compensation will be paid to each injured worker.
The accident happened at the Marwar cement plant in Nagaur district of Rajasthan, a new greenfield clinker and cement facility opened by Ambuja in October 2021.
Just a week previously, on 11 November, a contract worker was seriously injured as a result of an accident at Ambuja Maratha cement works in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. During the maintenance of a conveyor belt in a railway wagon loading site, the workers’ leg got stuck in the conveyor belt because the mechanical department failed to reduce the belt’s tension.
In October two fatalities occurred at two separate ACC cement plants. ACC is another Indian Holcim subsidiary. In all of these cases victims were precarious workers employed either via third parties or sub-contractors.
Deoraj Singh, the general secretary of INCWF-INTUC said,
“Ambuja and ACC must conduct their business in manner that creates safe and healthy working conditions for all the workers. These accidents show that Holcim is engaging a high number of precarious workers in their business in India and not complying with applicable legal and regulatory health and safety requirements. The ACC and Ambuja management should avoid all hazardous manual handling operations and immediately stop all unsafe work.
“We demand that Holcim resume bipartite safety committee meetings at all their operations and engage in constructive dialogue with the trade unions on health and safety issues. The companies, including ACC and Ambuja cement should strengthen the inspectorate and monitoring system and appoint adequate number of maintenance and safety inspectors.”
IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Atle Høie said,
“We express our deep condolences and sympathy with the injured workers and their families. It is an alarming situation for Holcim that signals a safety crisis at their cement operations in India that needs to be addressed urgently. The adequate assessment of risks and search for remedies with the participation of union representatives must start immediately.
“ At the same time, these incidents clearly show how dangerous bad employment conditions can be for workers. Holcim must put in place structures, with the involvement of its workers, that address the serious health and safety deficiencies in its operations worldwide.”
Photo: Marwar plant screenshot from Google Earth